Book Review – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

There are a few books you read in a lifetime and think, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Without a doubt, that’s how I feel about All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

It’s about a gemstone, an orphaned German boy set during WWII and a French girl; the daughter of a museum locksmith. The narration goes from one to the other as the events of the war culminate in a town in France, where the three finally meet.

The tale is profound and heartbreaking at times. I typically avoid anything to do with WWII, it’s just not my preferred genre, but I found this book mesmerizing and beautifully written. The only negative that I can come up with is the title. It’s just not worthy of the story inside. I understand why it’s used. I get the relationship with radio, I’m a radio operator myself, but this novel deserved something better. I don’t know what that is, but I do know what it isn’t: a long title that is so vague it’s hard to remember. Instead, one might be apt to say, you know that book by Anthony Doerr; the good one? That’s the only thing that troubles me. The rest is perfection.

The last, best book I read was Eleanor by Jason Gurley. I loved Eleanor, it was my best read of 2014. So far, this is my best of 2015 and the year is nearly half over. Somehow I don’t think I’ll find anything better; even this early in the year.

Anthony Doerr is the author of five novels and, not surprising, is a Pulitzer winner. He’s practically plastered with well-deserved literary awards. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his family. You can check out his website by clicking on his name above.

So if you’re going to read one book the rest of the year, and you’ve already read mine 🙂 read All the Light you Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Book Review – At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Did you read Water for Elephants or see the movie? I did. I loved the book, and the movie was barely as excellent as the book; hardly. Well, At the Water’s Edge, is written by the same author, Sara Gruen.

Not surprisingly, it’s a romance novel but one with a few menacing twists and turns. It’s an adventure set during the war in a conflicting time of super wealth and utter despair under war-torn Scotland. It’s a well-written, lovely story but not too romance-ish; if you know what I mean.

I tend to write in a male driven genre, and though I do write a bit of romance into my novels, I don’t love to read serious, over the top, romance books. That’s why I found this one intriguing. I don’t find it realistic. However, I loved At the Water’s Edge. It’s a great fictional story. There is a little romance and a little fantasy involved in a menacing way. No spoilers. I can tell you, if you loved Water for Elephants, you’ll like At the Water’s Edge. 

Sara Gruen is a bestselling author with five titles to her name. You can visit her website here. (Make sure your sound is up, it’s quite enchanting.) This author is one to keep track of. I’m sure she has more bestsellers coming soon.

 

Author Introduction – The Pilgrimage Series by Tom Abrahams

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I met Tom Abrahams in association with the Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse group. He’s a multitalented guy, fellow Texan and great family man. Not only is he a successful author, Tom is also a news anchor for KTRK in Houston, Texas.

He’s interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and witness both triumphs and tragedy, it’s no wonder he’s a good author as well.

I’ve read the first in his contribution to the Kindle Worlds, Crossing. Tom takes a completely different view and shows what it would be like for a vacationing family to survive the mess that is Perseid Collapse. I think he did a great job with Crossing and after reading this one, I’ve got the other two in the series on my To Be Read File.

Not only that, Tom is the author of several other full-length novels.

The tag line for his work is, Political Fiction with a Punch and Sedition leads the way. The President of The United States is dead. There is no Vice President to take his place.

As the nation slips into a constitutional crisis, a small group of disenfranchised neo-patriots conspire to violently seize power.
They have the will. They already have someone on the inside. And they have the explosives.

Standing in their way is a woman who listens to conversations not meant for her to hear. She reads mail not intended for her to see. She knows their intention. But can she stop them in time?

SEDITION is a smart, fast-paced, modern day political novel woven in reality and based on the 1820 British plot, The Cato Street Conspiracy.

It navigates the thin line between good versus evil and patriot versus traitor, proving there’s always a reason behind treason.

So if you like the realism and historical context of a Dan Brown thriller, mixed with research of a Tom Clancy novel…you’ll love SEDITION.

Allegiance is another series Tom has underway. And the description starts like this,

Beer, Redheads, And Politics…  Jackson Quick should have known better.
First, he trusted a Texas politician.
Then he fell for a leggy woman.
Worst of all, he drank a beer that tasted funny.
Now he’s running for his life, trying to piece together how he fell into a battle over something so small it takes a high-powered microscope to see it.

I think reading these novellas is a great introduction to new writers and their work. It’s a small investment of both budget and time to read a novella. Once you’ve completed reading you get a sense of the author and if you really enjoyed their style, check out their mainline work. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of these novellas and I hope you will too.

Book Review – Departure by A. G. Riddle

At some point, I will catch up on the books I’ve recently read and want to recommend. This one was an easy recommendation, no vacillating on the issue. Departure by A. G. Riddle is a beautifully written book involving a plane crash, time travel and a mystery with a struggle of who to trust with your gut instincts.

Actually, it’s somewhat more complicated than that. A. G. Riddle is from the same technical career as my husband, and they’ve both come to realize there’s a laser edge to all the technical gadgets we’ve come to love and depend upon. Technology can be a precarious and evil thing with too much dependency and reliance. I think most brilliant people in this field come to this conclusion at some point, it’s an aha moment, but that’s beside the point. Departure is an excellent stand-alone read and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Not only that, the novel is slated to become a movie by 20th Century Fox. I love that when I find out after I’ve read a great book that I’ll also get to enjoy it as a movie. It’s about time the film industry turns their attention to a host of creative and often intriguing indie books instead of the same old thing.

Author A. G. Riddle is also the author of the bestselling, The Atlantis Trilogy. His success with that series has led to many opportunities. I’ve only recently met this author, but he’s a great guy and I hope you’ll enjoy his work as much as I do.



 

Author Intro – Sean T. Smith – Sunshine Patriots

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I met Author, Sean T. Smith in correlation to Steven Konkoly’s Kindle Worlds Perseid Collapse release. (That’s a long title) I’d never read anything by Sean before and so after reading his contribution for the PC Worlds (Ha! PC, not.) I thought, heck, this guy can write! And, I mean it. He really can write well.
Sunshine Patriot’s has a smooth lyrical voice. The pacing works. You feel for the characters. I all, I enjoyed it and know you will as well. I think it’s perfect for both male and female readers too.

These PC novellas provide us with a great way to try out new authors without committing to an entire novel. After reading Sunshine Patriots I looked into his other works and then I recognized his covers. Our series often play hop-scotch with one another  when ranking. I love the cover art and I know the story within is great if it’s anything like Sunshine Patriots.

Sean also blogs about writing religion and the apocalypse. I’m not certain in that order but well here’s his website where you can check him out.

Author Intro – Ian Graham & The Amsterdam Directorate

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I met author, Ian Graham during one of our many interview collaborations for the launch of the Perseid Collapse Kindle Worlds. He’s a great guy and has his own success story. He’s the author of several works including a series, anthology contributor and published two novellas for the Perseid Collapse Kindle Worlds cause. He’s a busy guy.

I read The Amsterdam Directorate and, right away, I was impressed with Ian’s writing. We all have our own ideas about what would happen in a disaster like Perseid Collapse but I’ve got to say, Ian’s rendition in this novella was much like my own. As I did, he went for the personal gut wrenching day to day affect survivors would go through.

His main character is a man of religion that has to contront bad guys. He does it with remorse but does it remarkably well all the same. I very much enjoyed this novella and to my surprise he came out with a part two to the story just recently. It’s making it’s way up on my to be read list.

Ian is also the author of several other novels and this novella is a perfect introduction into his work. His most popular work is the Black Shuck Thriller series

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I know Ian is working on new projects to keep his fans in reading material. You can take a look at his website and keep up to date on his new released too.

Book Review – Wayward Pines Trilogy by Blake Crouch

Holy moly! This is one of those series that keeps you up at night, through the next day and into the following week. The Wayward Pines series is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s billed as a cross between Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone.

After I finished with the first one I recommended it to several people. Typically when you do this, they come back to you later and say, “yeah it was good…but not that good.” Well, that didn’t happen this time. It’s a great series and I definitely recommend you read it right away because, IT’S ALSO AIRING MAY 14TH ON FOX!!! And guess who directed it? M. Night Shyamalan. Yep… Here’s a link to Fox’s site, check it out. That’s right! Matt Dillon is playing the lead character and I think it’s a great fit for the Ethan character. (That guy does not age, BTW.) I don’t watch that much television, but I can’t wait to see how true they stay to the story. 

Blake Crouch is a great writer and I admire his work. Here’s a description of the series from Amazon.

The international runaway bestseller is now a Major Television Event from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, starring Matt Dillon and premiering May 14th on FOX.

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

2013 International Thriller Award Nominee – ” ~Amazon

You can also get this as a trilogy. Trust me when I say, this is a keeper. You won’t want to miss this series and it’s also a Kindle Worlds. I almost forgot to mention that. Kindle Worlds: Wayward Pines

As you can see, my buddy Steven Konkoly wrote a three novella series for the Kindle Worlds: Wayward Pines series. After I read Wayward Pines, I read Konkoly’s novellas and enjoyed them very much.

Author Introduction – Alex Shaw

I’ve known Alex Shaw for nearly as long as I’ve been an author. We met on Twitter and shared each other’s book links and then one day a fan asked if he was my spouse. Uhmm….nope. Alex lives in England and even though we share the same last name, we’re not related. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great guy, as far as I know in a virtual sense.

What I do know for sure is that Alex is a great author. He’s got the thriller James Bond style down tight. So when I became involved with the Perseid Collapse group, he was interested too and wrote a novella for the cause. I just finished reading Blackline by Alex Shaw and I can say without a doubt it’s a fast paced, heart thumping, experience. He takes a guy on vacation and turns his down time into an action packed catastrophe, Perseid Collapse style. It’s a great intro into Alex Shaw’s gritty, never-boring, humorous writing that his fans abroad adore.

Here are a few of his mainline novels.

 

Perseid Collapse Kindle Worlds Novellas

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This world keeps growing. That is, Author Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse Kindle Worlds is now 15 authors strong. Many of the novellas like The Amsterdam Directorate and The Pilgrimage by Tom Abrahams are in a series. With the additional books the total comes to eighteen novellas so far and there are more scheduled to be released. I know when I joined the ranks of the Perseid Collapse Kindle Worlds with Deception on Durham Road, I had no idea they would be so popular.  It was an honor to write in someone else’s worlds and I hope to go back to my contribution and extend it into another novella.

So if you’re looking for a short read and you’ve read Steven Konkoly’s Perseid Collapse series, give these Kindle Worlds a try. It’s a great way to discover a new author or two. I’ve read many of them and they are all quite impressive.

Author Introduction – Tim Queeney

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Meet Author, Tim Queeney. Tim is another author of The Perseid Collapse Series. He wrote The Borealis Incident and let me tell you, it’s a fast paced novella with a few twists and turns I didn’t expect.

We also collaborated on a blog post recently about leading women in fiction of the Perseid Collapse novellas. The post has been reposted several times. I think we both hit a niche that has taken too long to come to fruition. Leading roles for women are only a recent discovery. I hope this trend keeps up. We women have a lot to offer the world and the plausibility of such a role in today’s society has taken too long to catch up.

Back to The Borealis Incident… Here’s the description. I read it in one sitting and loved Tim’s voice throughout the novel. I think he did a great job.

Lt. Colonel Dana Wright has barely started as deputy commander of Thule Air Force Base in remote northern Greenland when a fireball in the sky changes everything. Fighting massive fires kicked off by the flaming meteorites, losing communications with the U.S. and having civilian contractors abandon the base are just the beginning of her challenges. Soon Dana and the embattled Air Force personnel are facing off against the belligerent commander of nearby Camp Amarok, a mysterious Arctic facility claiming to conduct ice cap research but whose true mission has remained a closely guarded secret. And Dana’s worries don’t stop there, her photographer husband, on a Greenland photo shoot accompanied by their 12-year-old daughter, has disappeared and Dana doesn’t have the people, helicopters or time to search for them. When the Amarok commander demands that Dana turn over the base’s only C-130 to fly his team out, it sets off a confrontation that reveals what’s behind Amarok’s closed doors and pushes Dana to the limit.

Tim Queeney is author to several other novels. His latest release is The Ceres Plauge, below. He’s also a magazine editor. You can read more about Tim at his website here.